Oksana Shopina explains her choice to stay in Ukraine and continue to do business during the war very simply: “to pay taxes to Ukraine’s budget and support the military.”
A member of Credit Union PVKS, Oksana owns a small grocery store in Kamianets-Podilskyi, a medium-sized city in southwest Ukraine’s Khmelnytskyi Oblast. On the first day of Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022, she packed her things and planned to leave the country with her child. However, the very next day, she saw people going to her store looking for groceries. At the very last moment, she decided to stay.
“I make more sense here than abroad,” said Oksana, who also sews camouflage nets for Ukrainian defense forces on weekends.
Demand for food continued to grow, as many internally displaced Ukrainians moved to the region. Oksana realized she needed to expand her business but was afraid to take out a loan because of the instability in the country. She ultimately decided to apply for a business development loan with Credit Union PVKS, her trusted financial partner and one of the credit unions that partners with the WOCCU Credit for Agriculture Producers (CAP) Project in Ukraine.
“I am very glad that I took the risk. Now, I'm already working in the usual mode,” said Oksana.
She is just one of many strong and courageous Ukrainian women who continue to support their country despite all the hardships caused by war. You can see a video about other brave Ukrainian women who have stayed to continue operating their businesses with the help of their credit unions on the World Council YouTube Channel.